Lamb and Pistachio Kebabs with Garlic and Olive Sauce

Lesley Waters combines a feast of flavours in this winning recipe for lamb kebabs with garlic sauce and roasted vegetable couscous
By Lesley Waters
Lamb and Pistachio Kebabs with Garlic and Olive Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 45 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium


For the kebabs

  • 450 g lean minced lamb
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 50 g pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • black pepper
  • olive oil, for brushing

For the garlic and olive sauce

  • 200 ml Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 55 g black and greenpitted olives, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of mint, roughly chopped
  • squeeze of lemon juice

For the grilled vegetables

  • 2 red peppers, seeds removed
  • 1 aubergine
  • 2 courgettes
  • 1 large red onion, peeled
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 115 g fine green beans, trimmed
  • 400 g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 4 cloves garlic

For the couscous

  • 250 g couscous
  • 300 ml water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 large bunch of coriander, roughly chopped
  • chilli oil, to serve (optional)


1. Soak 8 wooden skewers in cold water to prevent burning.

2. Combine the lamb, onion, garlic, lemon zest and pistachio nuts in a large bowl, season well and chill for 45 minutes.
3. To make the garlic and olive sauce, combine the yogurt, garlic, olives, mint and lemon juice together and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Refrigerate until needed.

4. To make the roasted vegetable couscous, preheat the oven to 220C/gas 8. Cut the peppers, aubergine and courgettes into chunks of about 4 centimetres and cut the onion into wedges.

5. Place the prepared vegetables into a large roasting tin and toss with the olive oil. Season well and roast for 25-30 minutes.

6. Meanwhile roughly crush the cumin and coriander seeds in a pestle and mortar.

7. Add the green beans, chickpeas, garlic and ground spices to the vegetables and cook for a further 10-12 minutes, until all the vegetables are tender.

8. For the couscous, place the couscous in a large bowl and cover with 300ml boiling water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Fluff up the couscous with a fork and add the olive oil, lemon zest and juice and half of the coriander. Season well and toss to combine.

9. Divide the lamb mixture into 8 and mould around the wooden skewers. Brush with a little olive oil.

10. Preheat a grill to medium and cook the lamb skewers on both sides for 15-20 minutes.

11. Spread the couscous out on a large serving dish. Pile the roasted vegetables on top and sprinkle over the remaining coriander. Top with the lamb kebab, drizzle with a little chilli oil (if using) and serve immediately.

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